Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home is where

I was at my aunts the day after thanksgiving helping her with some computer issues in exchange for lunch. Also noticed she was packing for her move to New Mexico. She can not find a buyer for the place, and I could lease it out from her for almost double what I am paying now, but it would be two miles from the beach instead of twenty five miles like I am now. Two miles! for about the same square footage as I have now, but with an attached garage, nice little yard, and did I mention two miles down a bike path from the beach? Though it is also a little farther from work, and through infamous west side traffic. The rent would jump from fourteen percent of my take home to twenty four percent of my take home pay a month. That would be very reasonable if I didn't have a mini cooper payment and dodger season tickets. Argh. It's available in thirty days. Do I give the current landlady thirty days notice and move? Or just move? Or just decline the offer and stay put. A lot of things to think about this weekend.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Poker Translation

You know all those old poker books that said in a tournament you only need to win one big hand an hour. Well, turns out they were talking about tournaments where the blinds go up only every two hours! If you were in a tournament with fifteen minute levels, you would have to win a big hand ever seven and a half minutes to follow the same guidelines. Who can do that? You are on the button only once every ten minutes or so. Playing good in every position before and after the button in a quick level tournament is even more critical than in one that has two hour level changes. I have some re-thinking to do.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Train for Trains

So, I'm sitting in traffic at a red light and see this huge three car track-testing tunnel-drilling monstronsity right outside my car window. I grab the camera out of my glovebox, roll down the window and snap this quick video of a train that hardly anyone ever sees. It is on the track on first street that is going to part of the new extension to the gold line from downtown LA to East LA. Once they finish, I may start taking this railway line.
video Okay, back to work...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Home Game

Some folk I'd been chatting with at the games during the last season took an interest in my poker stories, and invited me over for a home game. Twenty buy in, nickel dime and quarter stakes, nothing fancy. I haven't been playing much so answered, sure, I'll go. A few Thursday night's ago, I show up a couple of minutes late after driving to the beach and back after work, enter meet most of the group, all waiting on one more player after me. They pryed out of me what I like to drink an showed off an ample liquor cabinet ready to supply an alcoholic's every dream. Then they hand me a bottle, with about a third of it left, of a very nice, smooth expensive rum, and ask me if that would be okay. Okay? Would they like me to sing and dance too? Not necessary, I'm assured. Five of us sit down, and we start going after the house rules, dealer's choice of game, pre-shuffling ettiquite and ante's versus blinds sticklers. We went with an ante for every game. And instead of nickel, dime, and quarter, the chip demoninations were quarter, half dollar, and dollar. Raises, no limits. Uh oh, usually home games and card clubs have a three raise limit. This could go over the top. I settle in, with some chips and salsa and rum on ice and the sixth player arrives. A gorgeous woman whom, after conversation goes around a bit, has just gotten rid of her third husband. This is gonna hurt. She sits down on my left and asks the table if anyone would help her out with the rules. The hostess breaks out a tiny book on poker, and turns to the page that describes what hand beats what and hands it to her to use. I'm in trouble. She's cute, she is playing helpless, she is next to me... the last time a cute woman sat next to me at a home game, she ended up taking me home for the weekend after I lost everything. I do not want a repeat performance of that. The weekend was fun and all, but I was broke. An hour into the game, and an hour after I said I would help her out if she was having trouble with any hand that I was not in, I realized that it was all an act. She was, of course, a very good player. This will not be a repeat performance at all, besides, she was blonde, not a red-head. She was still flirting with me, scratching my back, offering to pour another drink from the bottle in front of me, etc. And just as animate with the other two guys and the two hostess. What game she had. Playing weak when she was strong, watching folk fold to her huge raises. An impressive performance. I lost a big hand to her four-of-a-kind when holding aces full of kings, without using wild cards. That got to me. I got up, walked around, got some ice, some snacks, and resolved to stick to my game. An hourly bluff, an hourly showing of a strong hand, a lot of folding. For the most part, it worked. She ended up the big winner with three times her buy-in, I finished fifty percent up, the other two women were out of chips, and the other two guys each finished twenty five percent down. All in all, a fun few hours with new friends. I was the first to go, since my alarm was going off at five the next morning to get ready for work. I can't wait to do it all again, and hope that they invite me in a couple of months to their next game.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Be a Budget Hero

Care to take on the national debt? Raise taxes? Defend the borders? test yourself now: